Reference Clock for Vivaldi Master Clock

Hi All. I hope it’s okay that I am starting this new topic. A previous thread on this topic is currently closed due to devolution. And we have a lot of various discussions on this topic scattered around a number of cable and clock threads, with some exceptionally helpful info from James here and here, but no specific place to discuss current reference clock options and member activities.

I and others have posted in some of those other places experiences with the Cybershaft, Mutec, Abendrot, maybe Antelope, and the Stanford Research Systems Perf10 clocks. I don’t have experience with the Mutec or Antelope, but I do with the Cybershaft OP-21A and the Perf10. I have also placed an order for the Novus NR2110D-ROG-HS, in an effort to go beyond the level that I think @Andrew once referred to as “audiophile toy.” :wink: My goal was to provide the sort of stability for the Vivaldi that James explained could make a difference, whether or not it is audible.

Today, the folks at Novus reached out to let me know that my unit tis in final build and testing, but that it’s not exactly what I had ordered. Instead, it appears that I have unwittingly been part of a little product R&D acceleration. Novus has now moved forward with their next-gen Master Reference, the Kronos1 NP-9000. Sorry, I know that sounds like marketing speak, but it’s how they put it in their email to me today asking me if I wanted the new thing no extra charge, or the old thing. No kidding. :crazy_face: Data sheet here.

Anyway, it’s supposed to ship by the end of the month. More to come.


Well, interesting, 10 channels, you can sync the Dacs of all your neighbourhood :joy:

More seriously now, I am interested hearing your feedback on the product, because if adding such a clock to the Vivaldi clock sounds better, than it shall be also interesting to see how dCS upgrade their products in a near future.
I am also worried it is aging very quickly, you must probably change it every year :laughing:


Take a quick read of the below linked post - the type of performance you’re looking for in a reference clock is quite different to that of a Master Clock for controlling a DAC.

A reference clock potentially improving the sound quality via a Vivaldi Clock isn’t a comment on the Vivaldi Clock’s capability as a Master Clock controlling a DAC.

Similarly, hypothetically connecting the Norvus to a Vivaldi DAC (ignoring the fact it uses an incompatible 10MHz signal for a moment) would probably be somewhat underwhelming as at least from the looks of it, it is designed for long term stability over short-term jitter performance (as it should be). Good to connect to a Vivaldi Clock, bad to connect to a Vivaldi DAC DAC.

The functions the two clocks are designed for are quite different, but a reference clock improving sound through the Vivaldi Clock doesn’t necessarily speak to the Vivaldi Clock’s capabilities - if you catch my drift? :smile:


Will be interested in your assessment of the new clock as against all the others you use or have used in your system(s). I’ve had the OP21 since early last Fall and have been happy in its performance with the Vivaldi Clock and an etherREGEN switch. As with all things I wind up testing in my system, it comes down to a) do I note any difference in SQ; b) if I do, is it positive in all aspects c) or, does it take away something I felt was important for SQ.

Recently I added a pair of subwoofers to my system with the goal of improving the way my primary speakers “worked” within my room. I found that the pluses came but with a higher level of room “excitement” that worked against the overall sonic balance. Then I put A/V Roomservice EVP footers under the subs, about week ago, and these tamped down the room effects considerably. Now I hear the SQ I’d hoped for gains w/o the nasty room effects I had before. Ain’t this a fun hobby???

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Thanks for helping to understand this tricky subject.
In my case the first step would be adding a Vivaldi clock to my Vivaldi DAC.
However, as some people mentioned that the Vivaldi line would be replaced, say in a near future, I supposed that not only the Dac would improve, but the clock as well, and may be the improvement would be like there is no more need adding an external clock to the dCS clock.
I do understand you cannot comment on that, but thanks again for your input.

I doubt that dCS would drop the external clock option on a Vivaldi successor. Consider this: Bartok is brand-new, yet it still provides clock inputs. Same with Rossini. Therefore, I expect dCS will continue giving you the option to add an external clock.


Good info and explanation, especially the thought experiment comparing connecting a reference clock to the DAC versus the Clock. Thanks.

Chris, my actual single biggest economic concern about this process has been that dCS might do something radically different for the Vivaldi successor with respect to either or both of: (1) the reference clock input frequency signal, currently at 10mHz which requires some arithmetic to sync at digital audio frequency rates [though the market forces against such a change are not trivial]; (2) the philosophical approach to the clock itself inside the Master Clock, currently a slow acting PLL, the implications of which James previously explained. For example, dCS could choose to do something like CH Precision did with its T1 reference clock, including even a GPS option and obviate the need for an external reference. If either of those two things were significantly changed, it could obsolesce this investment with respect to Vivaldi’s successor, but not Vivaldi. I view that as an acceptable risk, inasmuch as that successor isn’t here yet, and may not be for some time. Further, if and when it does arrive, I expect dCS will be happy to explain such changes, so that we can make informed decisions about the utility of external reference clocks. Finally, the availability of a reference clock built to enhance the Vivaldi’s clocking will be of value on the resale market [I think].

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This is just an interim update on my reference clock process. My Kronos1 shipped today for arrival tomorrow. I have attached an excerpt from the cover letter the head engineer sent me, regarding the performance of the clock and how the GNSS discipline optimizes that performance. The original item I purchased, the NR2110D-R/O/G-HS, works well with a single antenna which, as noted elsewhere, I have already installed. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get the second antenna installed on my roof for about 3 more weeks.

It’s been fun to work with these guys. Several of them have read the many dCS community posts about clocks, and they are definitely looking forward to feedback.


Kronos1 is in the house and operating according to plan. Both antennae are connected (the second one is temporarily located in a window locked on to 4 satellites). Everything sounds just as superb as it did before. I won’t start listening critically until after tomorrow. It’s a nice unit, well made and suitable for a high end system, with an excellent interface.


Congrats, Greg. I look forward to your assessment of the Kronos1.

While you are waiting for it to settle, maybe you could remove some stardust from your cupboard :mask:

And what is the mystery you are hiding, as seen from the reflection of your Wavelet? :blush:

:rofl: Yeah, I had to do some dusting. And that odd reflection is a life-size cheetah carved in ebony I brought back from Tanzania last year.


Looks brilliant! :+1:t2:

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Ok, lets see it… Cheetah pic :smiley:

Here ya go!


Oh! That is just beautiful :heart_eyes:

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Oh that looks beautifully made. It must have taken the craftsmen many hours of work.

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He’s really beautiful. And yes, definitely a male. :wink: Came across him while stopped for refreshments at a local artist coop gallery. Fell in love. As we moved on to new locations for photography, I stayed in touch through an interpreter. Bargained reasonably, but not too hard. I’m not that kind of person who wants to take every last dime off the table. And I learned along the way that my interpreter, my guide, and several others all had their fingers in the pie. Truthfully, that was part of some very good-natured fun. Took six weeks to get him here. He had to clear outbound customs in both Tanzania and Kenya. And he took six different planes. But they crated him well. The artistry is superb, and the very African quality of his face is quite compelling.

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Shipping that makes me feel queasy. The legs are probably more delicate than the lumps of metal we already fret about having little bumps :woozy_face:

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No kidding Ben. I held my breath as we uncrated him. But whoever packed him up knew what they were doing.